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Religious Studies A Level at Reading College

Course description

Does God exist? If God exists, and is good, then why is there so much suffering in the world? Why should we believe in the concepts of miracles? Is religion just a fiction invented to bring comfort to people in difficult times? Is it ever morally right to go to war? Are abortions acceptable? 

These are the kind of questions that you will study. We will examine some of the answers that the great philosophers have given to these questions over the centuries. You will broaden your horizons and develop your powers of reasoning. You will also learn to express your views clearly and logically both in speech and in writing. 

You will develop knowledge and skills that will be highly appreciated both by universities and employers.

This course can be studied as part of the Communication Pathway.

Course content

Your study will involve an overview of the main theories in different areas of philosophy. 

Your study will include the following:

  • unit 1: foundations; a study of philosophical arguments about the existence of God and selected problems in the philosophy of religion. Ethics; ethical concepts and dilemmas.
  • unit 2: religious studies — investigations: the study of philosophy of religion: religious experience and the study of ethics: medical ethics; you study one topic.

At A2, you continue to study Philosophy of Religion and Ethics :

  • unit 3: developments (comprises further study of philosophical arguments about the existence of God and selected problems in the philosophy of religion as well as further study of ethical concepts and problems ) and:
  • unit 4: implications. In the implications paper, you are given a piece of text from an anthology and asked one question concerning the implications of this text for religion and human experience.

You may have the opportunity of participating in an overseas trip to areas of philosophical interest. There are also visits to museums and conferences. You will have your own specialist personal tutor who you will meet individually or as part of a group tutorial and they will help you set, review and achieve your targets. 

There is an extensive programme of support to help you make higher education decisions and move on to university. The vast majority of A-level students progress successfully to higher education. 

There is an extensive programme of enrichment opportunities on offer and you will be encouraged to select from a range including volunteering, work experience, sport and performing.

Entry requirements

Six GCSE grades A* to C including English Language. A minimum of a D grade at AS allows you to progress on to your second year of study.



You will learn in groups and there will be ongoing timed assessments. Assessment is by exam and there is no formal coursework assessment on this course.

Financial information

The fee for international students for the 2016 entrance is £12,950 per year. Scholarships of up to £6,250 are available, for more information on International entries contact

Future opportunities

You could progress to higher level study such as a degree in any humanities or social sciences subject, or else seek employment in the social care or health professions, counselling, publishing, journalism, charities or non-governmental organisations, research, teaching or other public services.


How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Reading College directly.

Last updated date: 09 September 2016
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    • BY RAIL

      Reading train station is a 20 minute walk from the College.

      Travelling from surrounding areas: there are direct lines from many local stations including: Didcot, Slough, Maidenhead, Wokingham, Basingstoke, Newbury, Pangbourne, Twyford and Earley.

      Travelling from London: there are regular trains from London Paddington to Reading taking 25-30 minutes.

      BY BUS

      There are regular bus services that stop along Kings Road:

      Reading Buses - routes 13, 14, 17
      Please Note: Reading buses require the exact fare.

      Arriva - routes 800, 850
      First Group - route 190
      Thames Travel - routes 126, 127

      In partnership with Reading Buses, students can get a weekly Travelcard at a reduced rate by showing the driver their student ID card.

      The Green Bus will be operating two new bus services from September 2014 for Reading College students.

      Service RC1 and RC2 will run once daily according to an agreed timetable on 175 days of each academic year connecting the college with Slough, Maidenhead and the areas in between.